Creating the bean sandwich.

by Nic Olson

If I were writing an ‘About Me’ for one more shitty social network, using the same technique as a sixth-grade exercise where you wrote your favourite food, your greatest fears and a story about what makes you special, I would say that I make an excellent, and creative sandwich. That I like to create new things in the kitchen. That it is freeing for me. Like a lie on a resume I would flower up the language to make me seem greater than I was. I’d choose a photo that captured my good side, the fuller beard, the less-gapped teeth, and use it as my profile picture. When the entire truth is, my creativity when it comes to sandwiches has been caused by nothing more than using what I’ve got. I stopped eating meat and cheese, so naturally cucumber and carrot became a sandwich staple. People call me nuts. I run out of cucumber, and the garden is producing beans, it only seems logical to make a raw green bean and carrot sandwich, no condiments. More delicious than you may ever know.

And in continuing my fifth-grade activity I would list my greatest fears. I remember in eighth grade, when this same exercise was slightly modified into the format of a poem, I wrote one of my greatest fears being knives. In parent-teacher interviews, Mrs. Dudley lauded my creativity and comic nature. Recently, upon listening to an old song by the Weakerthans, I quickly noticed that my greatest fear was subconsciously stolen from lyricist John K. Samson. Creativity foiled once again. If I were to be honest in these fine days of the present, my greatest fears constantly renew themselves. Social situations. Forever loneliness. Death. In a repeat cycle. In grade eight my fears likely included unwanted mid-day boners and drunk high school kids.

In sixth grade when being introduced to the newest band teacher, Mrs. Verity, we played an icebreaking game. We were to write down one thing that no one knew about us, and write it on a small piece of folded paper. She was to pick the papers out of a hat, or out of a saxophone horn or something, and guess which student wrote which original fact about themselves. I wrote, “I plan to grow a six-foot pink afro.” She didn’t guess it was me, but the students knew exactly who wrote it. Creativity proven useless once again. I can’t think of a thing that makes me special because of cynicism. Because I don’t think there is one. Out there, there’s a million WordPress sites spilling the exact same confused rhetoric, a million disillusioned kids tired of the same old bullshit, a million morons who think they have something special to say, when it’s simply not true.

If ever it comes to the point that I become famous for making popular the bean sandwich, and people ask me how I ever came up with it, or if my bean sandwich restaurant franchise has an ‘About’ section on its corporate-run website, then I will copy and paste this, and it will spell it out for the masses, just like I was writing for my grade six teacher or creating another pseudo-personality on a soulless internet domain, that I wasn’t creative for creativity’s sake, I was creative because I had no choice. I was creative out of necessity.